It had not been a great week leading up to my beautiful, silly dog, Mr. Worf, dying from an attack by Africanized bees the day before my 55th birthday.
I suffered from medical abuse as a child and interaction with my family can dredge up lots of stress and sadness. With every passing year I understand more and more of the glaringly maladaptive communication patterns my family accepted as normal. I just last week had a particularly distressing interaction with family members over tax payments on a bit of land we jointly inherited. Even though I moved to the other side of the country to start a more normal life to minimize the frequency of hurtful reminders, such reminders naturally exist in the honest life I have tried to build for myself. I became quite sad when talking to a sister-in-law reminded me of how much unhappiness can come to so many when a person choses to act dishonestly, unethically, or solely in their own self interest.
Even though I consider myself a pretty successful person who manages her severe depression pretty darn well these days, family-related funks I experience can demoralize and demotivate me when they reverberate like a strong sound wave throughout my being with a particularly meaningful tone. I allowed the house to become messy, seemed distant to my husband, who is also a child abuse survivor, and we both ended up having a particularly nasty argument from the immature vantage points of our separate corners in the boxing rink where we both retreated with the tantrum clenched fists of the wounded children we both have inside. The argumnent happened over finances, like so many other marriage arguments do, in the early hours of Mothers Day.
I knew this day would be difficult because my little girl graduated and moved to the northern reaches of midwest a few months ago. But the family funk topped off with an argument turned the day into a dark and unfortunately familiar unpleasant place where I just could not connect with any happiness, calmness, or positive mindset.
It took a couple days but by Tuesday afternoon I was headed out of the funk. I wend shoe shopping an early birthday present for myself and found two adorable pair of sandals at a discount store for a gonga deal. My hubby and I were starting to chat normally again when the horrible day before my birthday happened.
I spent my birthday mourning the loss of a dear pet, who was as much friend as pet. It sucked. But out of that day friends from around the country, people I know primarily from game playing, and neighbors, and yes you, you dear readers, offered me touching messages of sympathy, affirmations of friendship, hugs, calls of concern, and expressions of the sadness they and you all too felt. Birthday wishes tempered with sympathy came from husband, step-daughter, and daughter. This real touching outreach of human to human comfort touched me deeply and helped me get through the worst birthday of my life and come out on the other side of that day, into today, with a renewed appreciation of all the miracles of connection that life offers. Life is relationships, and I’m so grateful for the beautiful friendships and sharing I have had and will continue to have with friends,and readers, and even with earthly spirits that through an accident of birth we call family.
Life is good. Sometimes is is too short. But oh, it is sweet.